Los Angeles: A man armed with a gun was injured as officers tried to take him into custody.
On August 29, 2008, 77th Area Narcotics Enforcement Officers Sal De Bella and his partner were working in plain clothes and were driving an unmarked police vehicle in the area of Broadway and 43rd Place in South Los Angeles.
At approximately 2:45 p.m., the officers saw a group of possible street gang members standing in the parking lot of a gas station whom they believed were armed with handguns. The officers stopped to investigate and as they did so the suspects ran away. The officers chased one of the suspects and followed him into a lumber yard, located on the southeast corner of Broadway and 43rd Street.
The suspect was cornered behind stacks of plywood in a narrow walkway and Officer De Bella pointed his shotgun at the suspect and ordered him to a kneeling position. The suspect complied. In order to place handcuffs, Officer De Bella slung his shotgun over his shoulder. As he did so the barrel of the shotgun came in contact with the rear of the suspect’s head causing a ½ inch laceration.
The suspect was transported to California Hospital where he was treated for his injury. He was arrested and booked for 12021 (a) PC, Possession of a gun by a convicted felon. He has been identified as 28-year old Michael Pickett, a resident of Los Angeles.
Officer Sal De Bella has been with the Department for 3 years and 3 months.
Force Investigation Division personnel responded and are investigating the categorical use of force incident.